Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Help me!

I'm trying to make a shirred dress from a fab tutorial on Kitschy Coos blog. I was doing really well until I actually started to try the shirring bit. The bloody shirring elastic keeps going funny on me. Anybody know what I am doing wrong?? When I sew it doesn't gather at all and when you look at the back the elastic is loose inbetween the stitches (does that make sense?). You can pull it taut and it then starts to gather but i'm obviously doing something wrong (I blame the sewing machine). You have to help before I throw my sewing machine out of the window! I've tried adjusting the tension but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Any ideas??

On a happier note I've won a giveaway on Talking Beads blog. I have to make a bracelet from a kit she is going to send me and let her know how it goes. I can even choose the colours I want. Very exciting and also nice to make some jewellery for a change. Given that the last prize I won was a tin of squid, its a pleasant suprise to actually win something nice for a change!

Also check out Totally Tutorials blog. I found this on Stumble. They post a tutorial everyday and todays was a fab one for making a childs pillowcase dress (I had been searching for one online only hours earlier). Well worth a look.


  1. Hi there :)

    I've found with shirring, that when you wind the elastic thread onto the bobbin you have to wind it on firmly.. not exactly stretch it on, but hand wind it quite taut.

    Also I make the stitch length really long.. I set my tension on Auto.

    and if its still playing up, you can heat up your iron, turn on the steam, and then hold it over the elastic thread (not quite touching) and the steam will tension it up a bit... heh.

    Let me know how it goes :D

  2. Sorry you're having trouble! You must be so frustrated!

    What tension do you have it set at? If the elastic is really loose (as it would be if you were gathering), maybe your tension needs to be adjusted. I would play around with different tensions on scrap to see if that changes.

    How many rows are you doing before you give up? The first couple of rows will hardly shirr at all, so it possible you're not giving it enough of a chance! I would try at least six rows, and then also blast with the steam of the iron.

    Is your shirring elastic decent quality? Does it stretch and recover well? I have bought some on ebay in the past that stretched too easily and didn't ping back into shape, just stretched and stayed there! My next thought would be whether the elastic was too loose or stretched too tight on the bobbin? Did you hand wind it? It should be firm but not taut. And when it's in the bobbin case and you wind it through the channel next to the bobbin, make sure it doesn't get caught / wedged or it won't feed properly.

    I have heard somewhere (I'm pretty sure it was Craftster) that some machines can't do shirring because of some internal tension mechanism. I don't know too much about that, but this is a good source of information:

    Let me know if I can help any more!

  3. Hi, like the tutorial blog. Kate x

  4. Thanks everyone for your advice. I really appreciate itand it worked!! See my next blog xx


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